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YMMV / Olympia

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  • Cult Classic: Much like with Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, Olympia garnered a lot of controversy and critical panning by having a female nude that was not done in a high-minded context like mythological figures. If anything, it was even more shocking considering the nude woman was meant to be a prostitute, her penetrating gaze towards the viewer breaking any pretense behind any narrative dissonance. With that said, the fact that it has the place in art history that it does (along with the various homages to it) speaks for itself.
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  • Values Dissonance: The "negress" is portrayed by Laure, an art model in France that had worked with Manet many times. While at the time it was no big deal, modern viewers could read a rather racist view of how she is depicted with Victorine Meurent, the position as a woman servant for a white woman in clothes that make her look almost like a "mammie."


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